There and Back Again
November 21, 2015
We made a weekend escape from Auckland. John drove on the left hand side for the first time! I chose not to drive because it was too freaky.
Our first stop was at this sweet beach in Tauranga. We put our feet in the water and poked at some jelly fish.
We also stopped at Rotorua and we got to see geysers, mud bubbles, and other cool thermal wonders. It was basically Mordor!
Now forget all those other things we did. Those things were garbage things compared to going to Hobbiton. The Hobbiton Movie set was the 2nd most magical place I’ve ever been to, second only to Hogwarts/Harry Potter Land at Universal Studios (HP Fan4Life). For the record, Hobbiton is more magical than the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. That’s right I said it! (plz don’t tell Disney).
(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)
So, Hobbiton doesn’t have any rides, animatronics, or character actors it’s just a straight up tour through the giant set they built. It’s just incredible the amount of detail they put into everything. It really feels like Hobbits could’ve lived in the space for a few 100 years. My favourite thing was this other couple who brought their own pipe as a photo prop! Genius!
The journey through Hobbiton starts at the gift shop where a bus collects us and we drive up through fields and fields of sheep. The bus driver tells tales of the local farmers and how Peter Jackson took over their land for the epic movies. After about 10 mins of bus driver talk and sheep gazing we arrive. The tour officially starts right where Gandalf rides in in the first LoTR’s movie. Once through Gandalf’s Cutting we’re surrounded by Hobbit holes, trees, and gardens. Most of the Hobbit holes are about 60% scale, so, small but not Hobbit small. They would be perfect Hobbit holes for Hobbits around 5’3″. I almost felt Hobbit sized wandering around. We slowly made our way up the hill towards Bag End passing countless Hobbit holes, all of them unique. After Bag End we all make our way down to the Party Tree and then over to the Green Dragon to finish the day with a beer. Unfortunately to catch our bus back we were a bit rushed drinking our beers, but we later found out we could’ve caught a ride with a different bus back to the parking lot/gift shop area (tip for those of you who might go someday).
Hobbiton was 100% awesome minus some points for having to share it with other tourists and minus some points because I wanted like one guy to be in character. Come ON! Nobody wants to pretend to be a Hobbit all day?! I’m sure they could find like one guy. With that said let’s add some points for not being super gimmicky. I could only imagine what it would’ve looked like if it was in the US. No offence ‘murica, you money making machine.